Published on
Update on
  • PokerStars teases new project in Mount Airy
  • Land-based card rooms still not as popular
  • The U.S. needs more states to legalize poker to rival offshore card rooms

PokerStars is joining Mount Airy Casino Resort with both an online and offline card room for players to enjoy.

PokerStars to Introduce Land-Based Card Room in Mount Airy, PA

Pennsylvania is fast approaching a full-scale launch of its online gaming industry, which includes both poker and iGaming activities. In light of this, the state’s land-based operators have managed to secure partnerships from established brands, including PokerStars and partypoker insofar the card game goes.

There has been a lot happening in the meanwhile. The SugarHouse Casino has chosen to rebrand itself as Rivers Philadelphia and the news was big enough to almost dwarf the fact that Mount Airy Casino Resort will develop a new brick-and-mortar gaming room which will combine a sportsbook and a card room.

In turn, this means that PokerStars will enjoy both online and offline presence and give the brand a power-up to actually find enough players who are willing to abandon offshore opportunities and join legal poker instead.

Poker Remains the Least Prominent Vertical in the U.S.

This isn’t PokerStars’ first rodeo. The Stars Group-owned online card room was hopeful that it would manage to excite interest in poker by launching a similar endeavor in New Jersey. However, the numbers didn’t seem to support this.

Even adding Nevada and Delaware to a shared-liquidity scheme didn’t help sway the poker fortunes in the state. Meanwhile, U.S.-facing offshore operators continue to report hundreds of active users around the clock, which is partly backed by the multi-million prizes handed on weekends.

How come PokerStars couldn’t replicate this in New Jersey? It’s rather simple:

  • Even with the shared-liquidity initiative, NJ, DW, and NV lack enough poker players
  • The prize pools outside WSOP are too negligent
  • Legal hurdles make it difficult for players to “grind” from home
  • Force of habit

While these points all seem easy to solve, it would take years of consistent effort. Legal card rooms would have to stay open or years until the majority of states begin legalizing their own poker verticals.

Once this is done, states will be able to join together and create a more attractive shared-liquidity program, which will begin to divert attention from offshore operators. Why? Because offshore card rooms are not subject to the same standards as are their legal counterparts in the U.S.

When given a fair choice, most players would opt for legalized poker options closer to home. For this to become a reality, though, states such as Michigan and Kentucky will have to step up their game and introduce legal poker sooner than later.